Blue Flower

EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS REFUSE TO RENOUNCE THEIR FAITH UNDER ISIS ATTACK

A clearer picture has emerged of the anti-Christian genocide near Cairo in Egypt after 29 Christians were massacred and dozens of others injured for their faith recently. Survivors from the bloody bus attack revealed that ISIS killed their victims solely because they were Christians. At least 10 masked Islamic State followers forced the Coptic Believers to leave the bus one by one, asking if they were Christian. Each person was killed with a gunshot to the head or throat, including children. Fr. Azra Fakhry, Vicar of the Maghagha and El-Idwa Archdiocese, said the terrorists demanded: "Bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Mohammed is the messenger of Allah." The Coptic Believers refused to convert to Islam. "We are Christians," they replied. Then they were shot. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the terror attack. 

Egypt responded to the attack with an airstrike on terrorist training bases in Libya. President el-Sissi ordered the retaliation just hours after the attack. "What you've seen will not go unpunished. An extremely painful strike has been dealt to the bases," el-Sissi said in a televised address to the nation. He also called on President Donald Trump to lead the war on terror. President Trump said in a statement, "This merciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt tears at our hearts and grieves our souls." "America also makes clear to its friends, allies, and partners that the treasured and historic Christian Communities of the Middle East must be defended and protected. The bloodletting of Christians must end, and all who aid their killers must be punished," Trump said. The Coptic Christians were on their way to pray at the remote monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, about 140 miles south of Cairo.

Egyptian television showed pictures of a bus with its windows shot out and people injured in the attack being rushed to the hospital. It was the fourth attack on Egyptian Christians since December. "The growing number of terror attacks is not at all reassuring," Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic church, told a local television station. Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called for an emergency security meeting following the attack which also brought swift condemnation from around the world. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit condemned "in the strongest terms" the terrorist attack, expressing the league's "full solidarity" with Egypt against terrorism. Iraq's foreign ministry denounced the "heinous terrorist" attack, saying that Baghdad "stands by the Egyptian people and government against all extremist and terrorist groups."

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office also strongly condemning the attack and conveyed "condolences from the Israeli people to the Egyptian people." Prime Ministers of numerous other countries including Australia also condemned the attack. In the United States, House Speaker Paul Ryan Tweeted: "Awful attack on Coptic Christians driving to their place of worship in Egypt. Praying for them. We must bring those responsible to justice." North Carolina congressman Robert Pittenger said "The heinous attack on Coptic Christians is simply unacceptable. We must be vigilant and unified to eliminate this enemy." Dr. Robert Jeffress, a radio host and senior pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas, said president Trump was right when he described in his speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia that the war against radical Islamic terrorism was a "battle between good and evil."

"If the world doesn't do more in defence of persecuted Christians we are going to see tens of thousands more die" Jeffress said in a statement. "Islamic terrorists want to do to Christians in Egypt exactly what they did to them in Iraq and in Syria." In the past few months, hundreds of Christian families have fled the Sinai Peninsula after several Christians were killed by ISIS militants for their faith. The Islamic State even warned Muslims to "stay away from Christian gatherings," saying more massacres were being planned. "Hundreds of families have already been displaced from North Sinai, and multiple suicide bombings have killed dozens already this year," Jeffress said. "Christians in the west must speak up more loudly for Christians in the east, and we mustn't forget that the terrorists would kill every one of us if they had the chance."

Source: CBNNews

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TWO YEARS AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE NEPAL SEEING A GOSPEL REVIVAL

It has been just over two years since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal. The quake killed 9,000 people and impacted eight million lives. Over 600,000 buildings and structures were damaged. The rebuilding process is still ongoing. Deepak, a program director with Global Disciples, says that in the wake of the horrifying natural disaster, God has used the Church's witness to prompt a surge of new Christian believers in the majority Hindu nation. "In fact, we had a weekly newspaper which said that after the earthquake, many people had turned to Christ, and the journalist criticised the Christian organizations and churches for doing evangelism after the earthquake. But it was comforting to us because everyone has seen what Christians have done. So we just want to praise God." Through Global Disciples, Deepak leads Nepali churches in evangelism training and church planting.

There are currently 70 programs, and they have six local staff members. When Deepak first started off, there weren't as many local resources for evangelism programs. But as a pastor of a local church, the Lord stirred Deepak's heart to specifically reach young Nepali believers and encourage them in witnessing and prayer. "So we as a church decided to organize the discipleship program in Nepal and we encouraged all our members to pray and help as much as they could. Since the program was in the village and many people didn't have money, they brought food like potatoes, onions, chicken, whatever they had at home," he shares. "The news spread to other villages and many other pastors heard of the way we were training our young people and sending them out through local resources. Leaders from different parts of Nepal began to call me and ask me how we were doing our ministry.

"So it was not difficult for me to tell them since it was all done with local resources, through the help of the congregation. I was invited to share the way we were training our young people and doing church planting." As Deepak travelled around Nepal and shared their training module at other churches, many other Christian leaders adopted the evangelism and discipleship training methods. The multiplication has been inspiring and the Church movement has grown under the blessing of the Holy Spirit. "We have many churches in different parts of Nepal where the leaders come together and once a year they organize training for their young people for up to 20 days, and then they send teams to villages for outreach where they get many opportunities to witness Jesus. As they meet sick or demonized people, all these young people are excited to pray in the name of Jesus and cast out demons."

However, the Hindu villages they go into aren't always open to the Gospel, and some are even hostile. Deepak shares the story of one village, and how God moved. "They wrote a sign saying 'conversion prohibited village', which means that no one should change their religion. They found a man who was a Christian and the whole village forced him to return to Hinduism. But after a few months, the man who took the initiative in doing this, ended up believing in Jesus, because he also needed Jesus! So we have many opportunities." As God continues to multiply and bless the Church in Nepal, please pray for Deepak and other Christian leaders like him. Deepak says, "Hindus in different places are united now against the Christians. So you can pray that God will give boldness to the Christians to witness in the name of Jesus so we can see the multiplication of churches on the mountains."

Source: Mission Network News

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PAKISTAN: CHRISTIAN SANITARY WORKER DIES AFTER BEING REFUSED TREATMENT

A Christian sanitation worker who fell ill after cleaning a manhole died after he was refused treatment by the duty doctors. Sanitation jobs are considered 'unclean' and are often reserved for religious minorities. Irfan Masih from Umerkot City in Sindh province, fell unconscious on 1 June after inhaling toxic fumes from a manhole he was cleaning without using protective equipment. When Mr Masih arrived at Civil Hospital in a critical condition he was covered in sludge and doctors told family members that they could not treat him because they were fasting and he was 'napaak' or unclean. Doctors asked Mr Masih's family to clean his body before administering any treatment. Mr Masih was left in the hospital gasping for breath while his family cleaned him. Doctors then sent for an oxygen cylinder which was found to be empty and by the time another one could be delivered, Mr Masih died.

Christians in Pakistan face widespread discrimination in religious, societal, economic and political spheres. Many Christians who live below the poverty line are employed in cleaning occupations. Sanitation jobs in Pakistan are considered 'unclean' and government insists that only religious minorities including Christians and Hindus need apply. Such adverts are criticised for maintaining discriminatory practices towards religious minorities while the municipal corporations have been accused of allowing sanitation employees to work in highly dangerous conditions with little or no protective gear. Since Mr Masih's death, three hospital employees have been arrested, the Hospital Medical Superintendent; a duty doctor and a medical officer. The staff allege that Mr Masih was already dead when he was brought to the hospital. Three employees of the Municipal Committee have also been arrested.

Michelle Chaudhry, President of the Chaudhry Foundation said: "We condemn this incident. A society becomes dangerous when it disregards all norms of humanity. An innocent life was lost because someone refused to perform his duty; which under oath they are obligated to perform." Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: "We are saddened by the death of Mr Masih and our thoughts are with his family. "We welcome the arrests of those implicated in the neglect that led to his death, but note that a number of sanitation staff have died after being exposed to harsh conditions without proper safety gear, in jobs they held because of their status as a religious minority in Pakistan. The government of Pakistan must put an end to discriminatory employment practices whilst also ensuring that those who do this work are supplied with essential protective equipment."

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

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CONSERVATIVE CANADIAN CHURCHES GROWING WHILST LIBERAL CHURCHES DECLINE

Amid the decades-long decline in mainline Protestantism in North America, researchers in Canada recently found an "elusive sample" of congregations whose growth has bucked the trend. The key characteristic these exceptional Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and United churches had in common?  Evangelical theology. With fewer evangelicals and more secular surroundings than their brethren in the United States, Canada's mainline denominations collectively lost half of their members over the past 50 years. Last year, a team of sociologists suggested that conservative theological beliefs, Including emphasis on Scripture as the "actual word of God" and belief in the power of prayer, may be the saving grace keeping attendance up at 9 of 22 Ontario churches studied.

"Most people, especially academics, are hesitant to say one type of belief system is better than another," said David Millard Haskell, the study's lead author. "But if we are talking solely about which belief system is more likely to lead to numerical growth among Protestant churches, the evidence suggests conservative Protestant theology is the clear winner." The mainline congregations that kept growing by at least 2% a year emphasized markers typically associated with evangelical beliefs. For example, such churches described evangelism as the main mission of their church, were more committed to personal spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading, and saw Scripture as a singular authority. Haskell's study was one of the most popular papers published in the Review of Religious Research last year. His findings among Canadian churches echo trends that researchers in the US have also been tracking.

Source: Breaking Christian News

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INSURANCE COMPANIES REFUSE TO PAY FOR TREATMENT BUT OFFER TO PAY FOR SUICIDE

A Nevada doctor has said that insurance companies in states where assisted suicide is legal have refused to cover expensive lifesaving treatments for patients, but have offered to pay to end their lives. Dr. Brian Callister, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Nevada, said that two separate insurance companies refused his request to transfer patients to California and Oregon for procedures not performed at his hospital. "And in both cases, the insurance medical director said to me, 'Brian, we’re not going to cover that procedure or the transfer, but would you consider assisted suicide?'" Dr. Callister said. Neither patient was terminal, and he had said nothing to prompt the suggestion. In fact, in both cases, the treatment had a good chance of saving their lives: "It was estimated that their chance for cure, not just adding time, of about 50% in one case and 70% in the other case."

The claim comes as more than a dozen states are actively considering proposals to legalize physician-assisted suicide, including Nevada, where Dr. Callister testified against the proposed bill, which was recently passed by the Senate. In February, Washington became the sixth U.S. jurisdiction to enact such a law, joining California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state. The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that "helping" terminally ill patients to end their lives does not violate state law. As part of the fight against the trend to allow assisted suicide, the Patients' Rights Action Fund released a video featuring Dr, Callister. The fight against euthanasia and assisted suicide is raging around the world; even in the last few weeks, a bill was voted down in Maine. In the UK, the Conservative party candidate for the Isle of Wight put out a very strong statement marking his opposition to euthanasia.

Source: LifeSiteNews

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MUM THROWS BABY FROM 10TH FLOOR OF LONDON'S BURNING TOWER

Tragedy struck the U.K. again as a fire engulfed the Grenfell Tower in London, leaving a rising death toll, with dozens of others injured. Horrific images of the blaze have been shown across the world, showing flames consuming the massive 24-story, high-rise building. The fire is speculated to have been caused by a faulty refrigerator in one of the flats. Residents frantically tried to escape the building, as groups of people and rescue squads gathered below. More than 40 fire trucks and 250 firefighters were called to the scene. From the ground, Samira Lamrani said she saw a woman who appeared to be on the ninth or 10th floor of the building. She was gesturing for someone below to catch her baby. According to the witness the mum yelled, "I'm about to throw my baby. Please catch the baby!" Seconds later, from her apartment window, the woman dropped the child from 100+ feet.

Amidst the horror and flames, a miracle happened. A man, who was gathered with members of the public below, darted from the crowd and toward the building where he managed to catch the dropped baby and get it to safety. Samira says the rescue was "miraculous." The apartment building houses 120 homes, all of which were completely destroyed. A structural engineer is monitoring the building, which is at-risk for collapsing. There is no word on whether or not the baby's mother survived. Please pray for all the victims and their families, and praise God for showing up in a big way to save this precious little baby from harm in the midst of such unthinkable tragedy.

Source: Breaking Christian News

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